Here roasted squash then gets pureed with sautéed shallots and some broth, and finished with a bit of cream and a gorgeous swirl of creamy, tangy crème fraiche (available in your dairy aisle or the cheese section of the supermarket—but nothing wrong with a little spoonful of good old sour cream), plus some (optional) bits of crispy bacon. So simple, and really quite fabulous.
You could also use another kind of winter squash instead of the butternut. Some of the other winter squashes can be peeled and cut up similarly to butternut, but others don’t peel and cube so easily (psst, here is everything you need to know about peeling and cutting up butternut squash).
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Take acorn squash for example, with all of those little ridges, and a skin that is super hard and thick. But what you can do with those types of squash is to cut them in half, scrape out the seeds and stringy gunk inside, and then roast them as is. Here is a nice little tutorial on how to do just that. Be really careful when cutting acorn squash; use a sharp knife and a sure hand.
You could definitely add a pinch of nutmeg, or perhaps a bit of cumin and chili powder, or some fresh or dried sage if you are looking for another layer of flavor. And if you don’t have shallots, use chopped onions, all good. If you have vegetarians joining you at the table use vegetable broth and pass the bacon on the side, or just give the bowls a sprinkle of fresh parsley instead.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crème Fraiche
- 1 large butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup minced shallots
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 thick-sliced strips bacon sliced crosswise into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup crème fraiche for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle over the melted butter, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet, allowing space in between the cubes when possible. Roast for about 25 minutes until tender and lightly browned on the bottom.
- Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat Add the shallots and sauté for 10 minutes, until the shallots have softened and turned a light golden brown. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat and add the bacon pieces. Sauté until they are cooked and crisp, then transfer them with a slotted spoon to some paper towels to drain.
- Add the cooked butternut squash to the simmering broth and working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor (alternately you can run the mixture through a food mill, which offers a great kind of nubby texture, or puree right in the pot with an immersion blender). Return the pureed soup to the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Add the cream and heat just until warmed through. Place the crème fraiche in a small bowl and stir with a fork make it very soft and creamy. Ladle the soup into bowls, swirl in a tablespoon of the crème fraiche, and sprinkle with some crisped bacon.
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